SINGIDA: FARMERS should now not worry about the market of their grain yields after the government on Sunday vowed to buy produce of mostly maize and wheat after harvests in attempt to create a stable market for them.
The assurance was made by the Minister of Agriculture, Hussein Bashe, saying the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) is prepared to buy all the cereals.
He allayed fears among farmers over shortage of market following reports that neighbouring countries may stop importing grains, especially maize and wheat among others.
He made statement while addressing residents of Hanang District in Manyara Region, who turned out alongside the roads to honour President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan who was heading to Singida Region for working visit.
Mr Bashe, who was part of the President Dr Samia’s entourage said in collaboration with the NFRA Director General, Dr Andrew Komba, they have planned to procure 5000 tonnes of wheat available in Hanang District.
He said in the previous harvest season the NFRA procured 20,000 tonnes of maize, where only 5,000 tonnes have not been paid, adding that the government will ensure all farmers are paid before the next season.
The agency bought maize amounting to 186bn/- out of which 143bn/- has already been paid, noting that after one week all farmers in the Southern highland, Central and Northern Zones would be paid.
“Don’t panic about neighbouring country threatening closing the border, the government will buy the produce, even if they close the border, we know that they only buy 40,000 tonnes of maize yearly which is within the government’s capability to handle,” Mr Bashe said.
Adding “we understand that closing of the NFRA’s cereal purchasing centres have caused fluctuation of maize prices, soon we will re-open the centres,” he said.
Last buying season, NFRA opened centres at Songea for Ruvuma farmers, Makambako for Njombe and Iringa farmers, Songwe for Songwe and Mbeya farmers and Sumbawanga for Rukwa and Katavi farmers.
Other centres were opened in Dodoma for Dodoma and Manyoni farmers, Arusha for Arusha and Manyara farmers and Shinyanga for Tabora and Kigoma farmers.
Towards new farming season, he urged citizens to focus on preparing themselves for the next farming season by capitalising on government’s subsidised fertilisers to boost production.
In addition, he said the government by Friday this week will issue cap price for all seeds in every region across the country.
Cap price refers to the higher end of the price band, subject to any revisions thereto, above which the offer price and the anchor investor offer price will not be finalised and above which no bids will be accepted.
However, Mr Bashe warned all seeds’ traders and agro dealers to adhere to seed prices cap which will be made available, warning that those going against it will face punishment including revoking their licences.